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Stars join tributes to Lancashire cricket legend Jim Kenyon
TWO former England cricket captains have led the tributes to ‘a legend’ of the sport, who has died aged 71.
And Lancashire’s captain Glen Chapple says his own long and illustrious career would never have taken off had it not been for Jim Kenyon, a respected player, coach and broadcaster, who discovered the Earby-born star.
As tributes poured in yesterday, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff described him as an ‘amazing man’, with former England all-rounder Flintoff calling for a minute’s silence at all cricket matches this weekend.
In a 27-year playing career for East Lancashire, Mr Kenyon scored more than 6,000 runs and took almost 400 wickets and was a successful captain of the Lancashire League side.
But it was off the field as a coach that much of his impact was made.
“I owe my career to Jim,” said long-serving Lancashire captain Mr Chapple. “He took me to Old Trafford when I was 11 after working with me at Earby and he really helped me develop.
“I remember as a child Jim would bowl at me in the nets to give me more of a challenge and he certainly played a huge part in my career. He always had time to listen and help.
“There are so many people at Lancashire whose careers were down to Jim.”
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan, who spent his career playing for Yorkshire, said that he was ‘gutted’ to hear of Mr Kenyon’s death and added: “He was a legendary man, a great character who always encouraged young cricketers.”
Mr Flintoff, who was the leading all-rounder in the world until he retired four years ago, said cricket as a whole should pay tribute to Mr Kenyon, who helped him on the way from junior cricket in Preston to Test stardom.
“All matches this weekend from international level down to park pitches should hold a minute’s silence for Jim,” said Mr Flintoff, 35.
“Jim was instrumental in my career and the career of so many others. He was an amazing man and an amazing coach and a legend of the game.
“He turned me from a schoolboy player to one who could cope with the professional game and he’ll be sadly missed by everyone.”
My Kenyon also became the voice of cricket on BBC Radio Lancashire and fans at league grounds around the county were avid listeners.
Chairman of East Lancashire, Larry Pearson, said: “Jim was a very likeable bloke. We talked constantly about cricket.”
Mr Kenyon was also a well-respected football administrator and was secretary of the Lancashire FA for 32 years up until 2005.
ANDREW FLINTOFF Former England and Lancashire all-rounder
"Cricket at all levels from internationals down to leagues should hold a minute's silence for him this weekend."
MICHAEL VAUGHAN Former England skipper
"Gutted to hear the news about Jim Kenyon. He was a legendary character, a great character who always encouraged young cricketers to really enjoy playing."
GARY KEEDY Surrey’s former Lancashire spin bowler Gary Keedy
"I’m really sad to hear about the death of Jim Kenyon. He had a great influence on a lot of Lancastrian cricketers who made it to the very top."
STEVEN MULLANEY Nottinghamshire bowler
"RIP Jim Kenyon. An absolute gentleman and legend. You will be greatly missed. Have a ball up there mate."
ATIQ UZ-ZAMAN Former Pakistan Test wicketkeeper
"Sad to hear Jim Kenyon has died. Huge lost for Lancashire cricket and the game in general. You could always learn from him."
MIKE WATKINSON Lancashire cricket director
"Jim was an outstanding ambassador for sport and a great cricket man."
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